Spring Break Fun for Two: Day 2

Day 2: Garden Day
Spring reminds me of the flowers blooming and everything turning green. So a garden theme is only appropriate to kick off the season. We will start our morning by reading a Spring book and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I will then have a Garden sensory bin for the girls. The sensory bin will have “dirt”, fake flowers, fake bugs, and more. Following the sensory bin, the girls will decorate butterflies. I have stamps, markers, and crayons that they can decorate the butterflies with. I will add the pipe cleaner for the body and antennas.
To get the girls moving, we will have a bug motion game which will include the girls acting out motions of different bugs. For example, fly like a butterfly or hop like a grasshopper. 
If the weather lets us, we will have a garden themed lunch on the patio. If not, we will have it inside. After their nap we will plant seeds in the flower beds and go on a nature color hunt. The girls will have imaginary play time acting out a flower shop; watering the flowers, buying flowers, etc… We will have a butterfly matching game. This is a file folder game that will have halves of butterflies. The girls will have to match the patterns of the butterflies.

 

I will have a Garden theme Tot Pack if we need something else to do. We will end our day reading The Grouchy Lady Bug. 

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Spring Break Fun for Two: Day 1

The girls Spring Break is coming up soon which means no Mother’s Day Out and no Bible Study for a week. Since we will have an entire week off, I will need an entire week of entertainment for the girls. I have decided to do a Spring theme each day. I will start the Spring Break themes on the Sunday before their break begins. These are the plans for the 7 days of Spring Break. 

Day 1: Under The Sea
The beach and the ocean are favorite activities for most Spring Breakers. Since we live in the dry west Texas, we do not get to experience many of these things so why not bring some of the fun of the ocean to our home. Day four is all about the ocean and what is under the sea.
We will start the day out by reading Ocean books together. We will go through the different animals in the ocean books. Then we will do a craft called Octopus Roll. Using a toilet paper roll and string we will make an octopus. The girls can decorate it by coloring with crayons or markers. I will add the eyes and tie the strings. 
 
We will continue the sea them with painting a clown fish. I found a clown fish coloring page through google search that we will paint with the color of their choice. After the art crafts, we will do an Ocean action movements activity. I found these printable ocean action movement cards through Pinterest, Ocean Animal Movement

 

At lunch, we will have an ocean theme lunch. After their nap we color a few pages in the Ocean Learning Pack. Then we will end the day by watching The Little Mermaid. 

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Top 10 Life Achievements…As of Today

When I was in high school I watched the movie, “A Walk To Remember” with Mandy Moore. In the movie, Mandy Moore’s character has Leukemia. Since she knows that she is dying, she makes a “bucket” list of things she wants to do in life. This movie inspired me to make my own list. I found my list to write this post.

As of today I have accomplished these things.

1. Graduate from college.
I graduated from Texas Tech University in May 2008 with my Bachelors of Science, majoring in Special Education.

2. Graduate from graduate school.
I got my masters from University of Phoenix in May 2014. My major was Curriculum and Instruction.

3. Fall in love with my soulmate.
I met my soulmate, Joel on April 23, 2010 in Houston. I didn’t know it then but he would change my life.

4. Get married.
Joel and I got married July 8, 2011 after an 8 month engagement.

5. Have children.
I gave birth to my twin girls, Bailey and Brooke, August 31, 2012. As for more children, time will only tell.

6. Be baptized.
I will be baptized April 1, 2015 at our home church. I am very excited about this accomplishment.

The rest of my accomplishments are smaller in compared to the ones above.

7. Design my house.
Since I was a young teenager I have loved design. I once had a dream of becomming an interior designer. In our current home, I have designed all of the rooms that have been remodeled. I have also created the floor plan that we will turn into a blueprint for our future home.

8. Go to the Bahamas.
Joel and I went to the Bahamas on our honeymoon four years ago.

9. Help someone accomplish a goal.
This accomplishment has to do with my mom. My mom dreamed of going back to school but didn’t know where to start or if she could do it. I encouraged her and have supported her from getting her Associates Degree until now. She is two classes away from receiving her Master’s Degree and I am so proud of her.

10. Read the bible, cover to cover.
This is a work in progress but I consider it an accomplishment. To know where my life has been and where I stand now that I want and desire to read this book again is a huge accomplishment for me. It is one that I plan to accomplish this year.

I still have many more items on my list of accomplishments I want in my life but I am still young and will continue to work towards those goals. As I read through my list, I found that my life has changed quite a bit in the past 15 years and my hopes of accomplishments are a little different. I am sure that things will be added to the list and other items taken off later on as my life continues to grow and change.

What are your top ten accomplishments you have achieved in life? Are there any accomplishments you want to achieve that you have not yet?

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A Little Me Time!!!

The biggest advice other moms have given me was to take me time when you have children. I heard it so many times while I was pregnant and right after I had them. I used to laugh when I would hear it and think, “I have two wonderful babies to spend time with, I don’t need me time.”

I am singing a different tune now. I am the one saying “Mommy needs a break!” This feeling started during the time I was traveling back and forth to Dallas for their Doc Band Helmets. The girls were around six months old. We were driving to and from Dallas once a week, which is 11 hours on the road with stops. I was on my own on those long days which made me exhausted for several days after. I would get rested just in time to do it again the next week. The thought of “me time” started crossing my mind a lot during those trips but I was too proud to ask Joel.

I never asked for “me time” until after the girls were a year old. I finally asked if I could go get a pedicure on a Sunday. Joel agreed so I had my first “me time.” Since then I try to take more me time. With the girls in Mother’s Day Out twice a week, I have those two days to have some relaxing alone time. But with maintaining a home, running errands, doctors appointments, etc… I do not always get me time on those two days.

I now make things for me to do that is just for me. This makes me change my priorities a little to include me. For example, I have joined our community women’s bible study. We meet once a week, which they have childcare for the girls, so I can discuss what I have read with other women. I have daily tasks with the bible study which requires around 30 minutes of my time each day. I have also started reading the bible cover to cover. This is a daily task to make sure that I read the entire bible this year. To allow me some time out of the house, I am joining our local division of Junior League in the fall.

As a mom we can easily lose ourselves in our husbands and children. Finding time to think…breathe…be alone…is just as important. So if you do not already do so, find time for you alone. A few minutes a day, a week, or however often you need just to be alone, do it. Believe me, it is important!

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Mommy Moments: Saying Goodbye to Nap Time

After the girls turned two, we found nap time was becoming more and more difficult. They became harder to put down and started refusing naps altogether. In the beginning it was just one that would refuse to nap, then the other wouldn’t be able to rest. Then it is once or twice a week that they both refuse to nap. 
Now it is twice a week, usually Monday and Friday that they do not nap. No nap days are so stressful on me. I do not get a second of quiet time. These days end up long and tiresome for me and them. They think that it is fun to play during nap time but by the end of the day they are so tired that they are screaming and throwing fits. 
I have tried to let them just lay there quietly but that has not worked. They get up and play with each other in their rooms. So, I am onto plan b. I am going to make book bags for the side of their beds, that will hold books for quiet time. For the days that they do not sleep, they will have books that they can lay in bed and read. 
Check back for The Pinterest Project post on my tutorial and how this project turns out. 

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My Blogging Story: Why I started Blogging

Advice

As a brand new mom of twins, I was overwhelmed and a little lost. I had the very basic of knowledge on raising one baby, nothing on raising two. I was desperately seeking advice from someone who had raised twins. Twins are genetic in our family but everyone that had twins was no longer living when I found out I was pregnant. I did receive advice from our family on single births, it was not the advice I was searching for. My biggest resource for parenting tips, childbirth, and more came from the internet, more specifically other mom bloggers. Some advice was helpful and others were not. As many other mom bloggers do, I wanted to share my experiences in hopes of giving useful advice to other moms of multiples.

Inspiration

I have been inspired by other mom bloggers in my parenting, marriage, and lifestyle choices. I hope that my blog can inspire other moms. Most of all I hope that other moms can feel the sense of relief that I do when I read other blog posts. That sense of relief is knowing that I am not alone, that other moms of multiples feel the same way I do. I hope to give other moms a reassurance that they will survive the struggles of raising multiples as I am doing each day.

Expression

I am a stay at home mother in a city that I know just a few people. I do not speak to old friends very often so I do not have a way to express myself, my feelings, and anything about my life. It is very sad and lonely in my position. I began my blog because I needed to talk about my life. I hat thoughts that I needed to express and blogging helped me. Then it became a way to share my life with others.

***I am going to be adding a few features to my blog. Two new features are: 

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What A Week

This week has been a rough week for us. It started Sunday morning while we were at church. We were listening to the church choir and singing along, when I started getting very emotional about my grandma. We had heard a few songs and I was fighting back the tears when “Cornerstone” came on and I burst into tears. I cried through the whole song and minutes after. I was able to calm down to listen to the beginning of our pastor’s sermon, which turned into a heart-warming but very sad video about a local woman fighting cancer. Not what I felt I needed that morning and soon was back into tears. I calmed down after church and stayed fairly calm the remainder of the day.

As I already felt emotionally exhausted, I went to bed fairly early expecting to feel better after a good night of sleep. Boy was I wrong. Around 11 pm, Brooke started screaming and vomiting. She was sick every thirty minutes for several hours. We gave her Emetrol hoping to stop the nausea. About 3 am, she was calm and tired enough to sleep. Joel put up the pack-n-play on my side of the bed and let her sleep beside me in our room. The next day she was moppy and tired but did not get sick. She seemed to be back at her normal self by the afternoon with the exception of eating much.

Around 1 pm my mom called me with the news I had been expecting for months. Grandma had passed away. She was no longer in pain and was with our Heavenly Father. Her passing was quite beautiful in my opinion. She passed away with gospel music on, family around her, and a nurse praying over her. For grandma, this was the perfect way to go.

So as I am taking care of a sick child, I am grieving at the loss of my grandmother. Brooke still didn’t want to eat much by Tuesday but had no symptoms of being sick. We thought it was food poisoning from lunch meat that we got at the store and sent her to school Tuesday morning figuring it was best for her to continue her routine. This gave me time to book a flight and get ready for the funeral. When I picked the girls up from school I was ready to fly out Wednesday morning with the intention of returning home on Friday.

At around 8 pm Tuesday Bailey started vomiting. She was sick for a few hours before I got sick too. So, she was in the pack-n-play and was up sick, rotating with me the rest of the night. After being up all night with a sick child and sick myself, I did not feel my best but was determined that I needed to fly out anyways. I made it to the airport, through security and to the gate when a bad wave of nausea hit me. I was so sick to my stomach and began to feel faint. I knew at that moment I could not fly. I walked out of the terminal, called Joel to come back and get me, then rescheduled my flight for later that day. I thought that maybe I just needed some sleep. I knew at this point that I had a stomach bug and that both girls must have had it as well. The worst part seemed to be over and a little sleep would make me feel well enough to fly.

I tried to sleep for a few hours at home but couldn’t rest. My rescheduled flight was coming up and I still felt horrible. I decided to cancel it and try to book another one later if I felt better. That night Bailey had slept some and both felt a little better. I had planned on sleeping for a few hours that night then waking up early to schedule a flight first thing and head to Houston anyways. Brooke woke up crying during the night. She was complaining that her stomach hurt. She kept us up most of the night. We eventually put her in the bed with us to try to rest. She spiked a fever early Thursday morning that would not break even with Motrin and Tylenol. Around 4 am, Joel started to get sick as well. I knew at that point that I would not be flying to Houston for the funeral. I needed to stay home with my family.

Thursday morning Brooke started vomiting again. She had not eaten a meal since Sunday evening. She had snacked but only small amounts. So when she got sick again we knew she wasn’t getting over this bug. We scheduled an appointment with the pediatrician. She gave Brooke Zofran to stop the nausea. Brooke currently has had 3 doses of the Zofran and has eaten two small meals. She has been very thirsty. She will receive her next dose after naptime and I hoping she will want to eat more then.

It has been an emotionally, physically, and mentally draining week for my family. I am desperately waiting for this week to be over and everyone to be healthy again.

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Book Challenge: Friend Recommended

This book challenge book was Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  As I started this book, I was already on a journey to find my own spiritual life. As I have stated previously, I am on a journey to become baptized and grow my relationship with the Lord. So this book seemed fitting in my life choices.

I do have a confession to make. I started this book three years ago but never found time to sit down and read it cover to cover.

As I started this book again, I had trouble getting connected with the story. As many stories do, this book starts out by jumping into a problem in which very little background is explained. I struggled trying to read this book. I just could not connect with Elizabeth the way that I thought I could.

I figured that it was just a rough start and that I needed to read more to start getting into the story. The book continues one with her tragedy of life. She has a lot of inner issues that she goes through and is seeking peace and happiness. The next stage of her live she travels to Italy to seek the pleasures of life that she has been desperately seeking. I stopped reading the book at this point.

I decided not to complete a review of this book since I was unable to read the book. At this stage in my life and with everything I have had going on, this was not a good read for me. I do think that it is probably a good read when you are able to sit down and absorb her journey and lifestyle changes.

I will attempt to read this book again at some point but I just could not read it now. If anyone has read it and would like to give a review, please leave your review of the book in the comments.

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Three Days of Valentine’s

I love holiday themes. I love decorating with the theme, making crafts, having everything we do about that theme. It’s part of what I loved about teaching. This year the girls can actually enjoy some activities. Since this weekend is when we are starting the demolition phase of their bathroom and Joel and I will be preoccupied with that, I wanted to have a three day celebration of Valentine’s. Joel’s parents will come in Friday evening and will have the girls all day Saturday while we work. So this is what I have planned for the next three days.

Friday

We are going to make play-dough hearts. I have not made my own play-dough but I do know that there are plenty of good recipes out there. We are using the store bought play-dough in pink, red, and purple. I have different sizes and designs of heart cookie cutters. We will roll out the play-dough and cut out hearts. The girls love playing with play-dough, so this will be one of the things they love.

I am hoping to create a sensory bin for them to play in. In this sensory bin I will have red and pink jewelry, red pom poms, pink rice, pink conversation hearts, pink feathers, etc… Basically anything I can find in pink or red around our house.

We will have our annual Valentine’s photo shoot. I always set up a photo shoot of the girls in their Valentine’s outfits to share with our families. I will do this photo shoot on day 1.

If the weather permits…it has been chilly today…we will have a mommy/daughters picnic lunch or snack time in the backyard. I will bring out a blanket and food to sit and enjoy in our backyard. From there the girls will be able to play in the backyard and enjoy some fun in the sun.

The final thing on the agenda for day 1 is to bake our Valentine’s dessert. I always make a red velvet cake for valentine’s day. It is Joel’s favorite and fits the theme. The girls have a big interest in cooking and helping me so they will help me with the baking and decorating of the cake.

Saturday

We will start the morning with Valentine breakfast. Pancakes in the shape of hearts.  Since the girls will be with their Grammy and Grandaddy all day, I have some activities planned that will be fun for them to enjoy together. I have finger painting where they can paint pictures or hearts if that is what they choose. I have stories that fit the Valentine’s theme. I have printed Valentine’s coloring pages that they can color with their Grandparents.

I have created a heart hop game. The game has giant hearts in different colors. They will have to hop from color to color naming their color they land on. It will be a fun active game with learning as well.

The final activity will be an activity they love. Puzzle time! The girls are obsessed with putting puzzles together. Right now it is the giant foam puzzles that are easy for them to handle. The rest of the day will be playing with grandparents, another activity they love to do.

Sunday

We have church Sunday morning and a church course that evening so this day will be a shorter day of Valentine fun. I will have them play their heart game again, hopping from color to color. I will also have a heart matching game with conversation hearts. They will have a mat that has colored hearts in yellow, pink, green, blue, purple, and orange that the girls will match the conversation heart candies with.

That afternoon, we will have a dress up tea party with valentine snacks. To end the valentine weekend, we will pop popcorn and watch their favorite movie, or movie of choice for that day.

I am excited for celebrating this Valentine weekend with them. I think that they will really enjoy all the different activities.

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Losing Our Matriarch

In many families there is a woman who is special to everyone. She is the oldest, wisest of the family. This is the woman that so many people have looked up to at some point in their lives. She is the matriarch of the family.

In my family the matriarch is my great-grandmother, Grandma. She is her parents oldest child, the first of eleven children. Starting at a young age, she was raised as a loving caregiver. She was a role-model to her siblings. In her 94 years here on Earth, she has seen wonderful things as great sorrow.

Grandma was married for almost 50 years. She gave birth to four children, has watched two of her children grow up as well as grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She is now a great-great grandmother of five. In her life she has witnessed a time of war, the loss of her parents, siblings, husband, and three of her children, including a set of twins that did not survive long after birth. She has survived Leukemia and skin cancer. In my opinion, she is a woman of great inner strength and beauty. She has a heart of gold.

Grandma is also a strong woman of faith. She grew up knowing and loving the Lord. She also raised her children the same way. I remember as a small child attending church with her on Sunday mornings. She had taught Sunday School for many years and had “retired” by then. Grandma is part of the reason that I have known and loved the Lord. She inspires me to be a better Christian as well as better woman and mother.

Two years ago Grandma fell and broke her hip. She no longer could manage on her own and needed around the clock care. Grandma moved into a nursing home where she could get the care she needed. In her two years in the nursing home, she advanced from Dementia to advanced Alzheimer’s. Now that I live eight hours away, I can only see her occasionally. When I do, she may or may not remember me. I’m not the only one she has forgotten. There are times she forgets her husband, kids, grandchildren, and more. It’s sad to watch such a wonderful woman forget her life.

A week ago, Grandma was placed in hospice care. She has stopped eating and drinking. Grandma is tired and ready to go her next home in Heaven. As she is ready to embark on this next journey, I think about how we are losing our matriarch. For so many of us, a world that she is not in, is a world we will be living in soon. It’s something that we knew would happen at some point but never wanted to imagine what it would be like. It’s difficult to picture, even now as we know it will be a reality soon. I am not sure what it will look like or how as a family will recover. But I do know that we will greatly miss her and remember her always as a wonderful matriarch to our family. Even though she will not be here to see it, I will continue on my journey of becoming the woman she has inspired me to become.

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